Thursday, March 22, 2012

Help me remember what knit us together as one...

Yesterday, my cousin Michael Murphy died after bravely battling cancer for over three years.  He will be greatly missed in our family and not just because at 6' 8" he was so easy to find at any family gathering.  Michael had a gentle and giving heart, a ready smile, and a delicious sense of humor.  His son, Austin and daughter, Alexis are testament to all of those qualities and so much of him will live on in them.  We were blessed to have Michael as long as we did.

A few months ago, Michael's sister told me that Michael wanted one of my knitted hats.  I was so thrilled to have something concrete to be able to do for Michael.  Since he lived in Tampa, it never occurred to me that he may have wanted a hat, but a hat he got.  Rosemary and I decided on a blue and it was in the mail hours after it was finished.  A Christmas hat was followed by an alpaca in a shade called Colorado Fudge, so some fudge from the local candy shop went into the box, and finally, a green striped hat for St. Patrick's Day.  Each one was knitted with thoughts, prayers, and love.  Though I know Michael really appreciated the hats, his appreciation paled when compared to the comfort and pleasure it gave me to be able to send them to him.  Do you have someone that may need a hat from your hands?

Last night, my brother, Fr. Austin Fleming, posted this prayer on his blog, A Concord Pastor Comments:

Help me remember what knit us together as one...
Help me to see that the bonds you forged
are not destroyed by death,
that what you knit in my heart need never unravel,
that it's your desire to keep, to hold in your heart,
all that I have treasured in my heart... 

It certainly touched this knitter's heart.

1 comment:

  1. Ruthie - Although Michael lived in Florida, a State I find intolerably warm, he often times became chilled laying in bed for so many months. Your caps brought him more than just physical comfort, which he needed after losing much of his hair. The first cap you sent he wore with great pride, it made him feel warm all over like the hug of a cousin knitted right into the cap itself, a cousin he has known and loved his entire life. The next cap was a beautiful addition to his fledgling "collection" and when he received the third cap he displayed them all proudly - taking up valuable real estate along his bedside, the only space that was really his anymore. Having three caps also gave him choices, in a world where so many choices, other than what to eat or what music to listen to, had been taken away. When I saw him on the day before he died he was sporting the green cap, I remarked, "You look very Irish in your green cap". I am confident I noticed the smallest upturn of the corner of his lip, an attempt at a small smile. And on the day he drew his last breath, he was still wearing that cap, warm in the knowledge that he was surrounded not only by those who loved him but by you, many miles away, but ever so close with the warmth and love knitted right into that cap. You will never know how very much something as simple as a hand made cap meant to him, but it meant far more than you can imagine. He treasured those caps and you for making them, Thank You. -Joseph